Phone Booth (***)

Posted on April 5th, 2003 in Movie Reviews by EngineerBoy

First, let me put those stars in context. From what I know about him from his public persona (which, granted, may not be entirely accurate), I do not like Colin Farrell. If you care to judge for yourself, check out these news stories about him on IMDB:,%20Colin%20(I)


To sum up my disdain, he recently split with his wife, he also has a pregnant girlfriend, and he’s currently stepping out with a steady stream of new ladies, and sums this all up by saying:


“I’ve been in love three times and that’s enough for a 26-year-old. It really is. So, literally, I come into town and bang whoever I can – but I’m not mean and egotistical about it.” – Colin Farrell


Reportedly, he also is known to regularly frequent Scores, the famous New York strip club, and spend hours in private rooms with multiple dancers. He is, by all appearances, a sad and pathetic bad-boy Hollywood lothario.


But Colin Farrell fits into a very thinly populated category for me. And that category is the cross-section of “Celebrities I Find Repugnant” and “People Whose Work I Respect”. Both of those categories are small for me. Oh sure, there are a lot of celebrities I don’t necessarily care for, but there are only a few that are actually revolting. Also, there are a lot of artists whose work I enjoy and admire, but only a very few that I respect (artistically).


And then there is the category of Repugnant Artistes. That is one thin category. Colin Farrell joins the likes of Woody Allen, Eminem, Roman Polanski, the Artist Formerly Known as the Artist Formerly Known as Prince, and Russell Crowe. Can you picture that dinner party? Oy.


But what does all this have to do with the review of “Phone Booth”? I presented all of the above information so you could put those 3 stars in perspective, because I’m sure the movie lost at least a half a star because of it.


******************** SPOILERS AHEAD ********************


I mean, Colin Farrell is in virtually every, single scene of this movie. And several times during the movie I was taken out of the story by the discordance of seeing someone I had no respect for doing such great work. But, in the end, I have to say that Colin Farrell did a fantastic job. So did Forest Whitaker as the logical cop, and Kiefer Sutherland as the mysterious, unnamed caller.


For those unfamiliar, the story revolves around Colin Farrell’s character (Stu), a sleazy publicist, who gets trapped in a phone booth in dowtown Manhattan by a vengeful/liberating sniper. Other than the first 5-10 minutes, the entire movie takes place on location with Stu in the phone booth, the cops outside, and the sniper unseen. It’s very tense, gripping stuff, and the writing, acting, directing, and photography are all top-notch.

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